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UN pledges $8 million to ECCC

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
Since the court was established, it has cost $293 million to operate. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The United Nations will provide a $8 million subvention to support the 2018 operations of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, which is tasked with the prosecution of the country’s former Khmer Rouge commanders.

The UN General Assembly approved the subvention for the international component of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, according to Tuy Ry, Cambodia’s permanent representative to the UN.

“I delivered a statement after the adoption without a vote by the General Assembly of its 72nd session on the UN secretary general’s request for a subvention to the ECCC for 2018,” Mr Ry said.

It was UN Secretary-General António Guterres who requested the General Assembly to authorize the subvention for the ECCC’s international staff.

Tribunal spokeswoman Hayat Abu-Saleh said she had yet to receive the news.

According to the ECCC’s budget proposal for 2018-2019, a total of $46.12 million has been requested, of which $24.72 million relates to 2018 and $21.4 million to 2019.

The Cambodian government has now met 70 percent of its approved 2018 budget for the ECCC, having contributed $4 million to the tribunal. The national side will spend about $5.8 million in 2018.

“A total of $5.79 million has been proposed by the Cambodian government and will go toward covering the ECCC’s general cost of service, including the salaries of national staff for a period of one year in 2018,” said ECCC spokesman Neth Pheaktra.

“For the rest, we are appealing for contributions from the international community to put in another $1.79 million for the national side,” he added.

Recently, the European Union also announced it would provide nearly $12 million to help fund the Khmer Rouge tribunal from 2017 until the end of 2019.

The budget will be divided between the national and international components of the tribunal and NGOs.

Since the establishment of the hybrid court, a joint creation of the UN and the Cambodian government, it has cost $293 million, of which $224.3 million has been spent on the international component and $68.7 million on the national side. Japan has so far been the main contributor.

Three former Khmer Rouge leaders, Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, who headed S-21, Khieu Samphan, a former head of state, and Nuon Chea were sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes during their reign from 1975-79, when at least 1.7 million people died.

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